My Motivation to Study Abroad
From a very early age, I was fascinated by the Japanese culture. I grew up playing Japanese games and reading books by famous Japanese writers. In 2014 I visited Japan as a tourist, the whole trip left a big impression on me. I was able to visit places I had only seen on TV or read about in a book. However, at that time I didn’t really think about studying abroad in Japan, particularly at the leading Japanese university, since I had just started my career in Russia and was happy with it. Still, I paid close attention to what was happening in Japan. TV channel NHK World became my favorite to watch, maybe it was the way to stay in touch with Japan. Another source of information for me, as well as for other young people in my country, was Russian YouTube bloggers living in Japan. Before I started watching them, I could hardly imagine living in Japan myself but thanks to these people, I realized that it’s not so hard.
The Road to Japan
It was the end of 2015 when I started to actually think about moving to Japan to study Japanese. I wasn’t happy with my job because I had a feeling that I had reached some limit there and couldn’t move forward and develop my skills any longer. Although my home town, Sochi, hosted the Winter Olympic Games, the city didn’t become as internationalized as I had hoped and I was really disappointed that I couldn’t use my foreign languages skills and actually there wasn’t much to do for young people like me. All of this led to my decision to move to Japan. I talked with my mother, she agreed that it would be better for me to leave and try something new in a different place. I had a few options of where I wanted to go but since Japan was the best among all the countries I had visited, I choose Japan.
I started to attend Japanese language school classes in Sochi. It was also the place where I made my first Japanese friend. He was living in Tokyo but usually spent two months in Sochi to teach Japanese. I told him that I intend to move to Japan to study the language and find a job but he told me that with just the certificate from the language school it’s hard to find a great job even though I have a degree in Global Economy from the university in Russia. It’s not that I took his advice very seriously but I started to search for universities in Japan online. The first position that popped up was Waseda University. I remember that I immediately like it: the school seemed internationalized; having the biggest amount of foreign students than in any other Japanese University. The campus also looked great with the famous Okuma Auditorium in the center of it.
I moved to Japan in October 2016. There weren’t many things that surprised me since I had already been here as a tourist and watched a lot of videos about it (maybe only the number of drunk salarymen walking around like zombies or lying on the ground every Friday evening). As I had planned at the beginning, I started at the Japanese language school, keeping a future job in mind. During my time at school, I met a Russian girl, who is a good friend of mine now. She was the second person who told me that if I wanted to find a job with a very good company, I should consider going to graduate school here. At first, I was planning to do it in September 2018 but after I checked the Waseda website, I saw that for people living in Japan it’s possible to submit all the required documents in January 2018 and start the first semester in spring of the same year. I always loved history which led me to the interest in politics, so the obvious choice was to study Political Science but after checking other available courses, I decided to go with the School of International Cultures and Communication since it provided a more diverse selection of courses.
What it’s like to Study at Waseda Graduate School
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